Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Bought by BTR Capital Management Inc.

BTR Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 49.1% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 143,745 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 47,368 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 1.6% of BTR Capital Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 28th biggest position. BTR Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $8,089,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. NewSquare Capital LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% in the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103.7% in the fourth quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,270 shares during the last quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 748.1% in the second quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 2,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,990 shares during the last quarter. Finally, QCI Asset Management Inc. NY increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. 74.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of NYSE:MRK traded down $1.17 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $53.36. 12,500,216 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,017,954. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $66.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $147,023.23, a PE ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.60%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.

In other news, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $770,375.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Barclays raised Merck & Co., Inc. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $64.00 in a report on Thursday. SunTrust Banks raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, DZ Bank upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $66.47.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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